Hiding an entry in Add/Remove Programs

At some point, one might want to hide one or more entries added by software setup(s) in Add/Remove Programs (also known as “Programs and Features”, ” Uninstall a Program”, “Add or Remove Programs” under Windows 7).

Here’s a neat trick to do this:

  • Open regedit
  • Look for the Uninstall key of the software. That’s under:
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall          OR
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall (in case of a 32-bit installation on a 64-bit machine)
  • The key can be a GUID or an actual software name (like “Adobe AIR”, for example).
  • Under that key, create a DWORD value called SystemComponent and set it to 1
  • Done.

In case of a silent installation of an MSI, you can add ARPSYSTEMCOMPONENT=1 to the command line. This will have the same effect as the manual sequence described above.